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The “Pathways of Choice” Program

Below, you will find the Cleveland Heights – University Heights School District’s FAQs, meant to shed light on the details of their new Pathways program.

K-12 Pathways
FAQs

The Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District is realigning its schools to go with one of three new pathways—education themes that emphasize learning from particular perspectives. Pathways will be implemented slowly and won’t begin to take effect until the 2012-2013 school year; it won’t be fully implemented until 2016. The three pathways are:

  • Society: Learning from the perspective of people interacting with others
  • Discovery: Learning from the perspective of people interacting with the physical world
  • Creativity: Learning from the perspective of expressing and celebrating the human spirit

Each CH-UH school has now chosen their pathway.

High School

  • Legacy New Tech High School of Science Technology Engineering and Math (Discovery)
  • Mosaic School of Creativity and Technology (Creativity)
  • R.E.A.L. Early College High School (Discovery, Creativity, Society)
  • Renaissance School of Humanities & International Studies (Society)

Middle School

  • Monticello (Discovery)
  • Roxboro (Society)
  • Wiley (Creativity)

Elementary

  • Boulevard STEM Academy (Discovery)
  • Canterbury – (Creativity)
  • Fairfax (Society)
  • Gearity – (Discovery)
  • Noble (Creativity)
  • Oxford (Society)
  • Roxboro (Society)

The pathways are being implemented in phases so that parents and students can learn about the ways in which each school will educate around their pathway.

In the 2011-2012 school year:

  • 8th graders and 9th graders will have the opportunity to select their small school and pathway based on our new design.
  • 8th graders will have the opportunity to apply to the R.E.A.L. Early College High School

During the 2015-2016 school year: 

  • Parents of K-5 students will have the opportunity to select their school of choice based on their area of interest.

Schools have chosen pathways so that parents have convenient options wherever they live.

South part of the district:
Creativity – Canterbury
Discovery – Gearity
Society – Fairfax
Society – Roxboro

North part of the district:
Creativity – Noble
Discovery – Boulevard STEM Academy
Society – Oxford

Transportation
All students who select a school other than their neighborhood school will receive district provided transportation.

Choice
Every family in the CHUH district will have the opportunity to select a school that best meets the needs of their child. If this choice is made because of a particular theme or because of the location of the school (neighborhood) or because it works best to have all siblings in the location, that decision is totally yours. Each school will provide every student with the same world class core curriculum. The type of instruction will be different.

Our BOE will examine our current school choice policy and make additions and or modifications if necessary in the fall of 2011. Making this decision early will give our community and staff enough time to fully grasp the procedures for school selection and assignment.

Changing Schools
At each level students will have the opportunity to select another strand. For example: If I spend my K-5 years at a Society school that does not preclude me from attending the Discovery Middle school.

Why is this change necessary?
We all know that students have different needs and interests. By creating schools of choice, we are creating the opportunity for students and parents to select a learning environment that best fits their needs. Research has shown that when parents and students have a vested interest in their school community, they do better socially, emotionally and academically.

How will parents know what school is right for their child?
We are working with Hanover Research to find assessment tools that have a proven track record of identifying student interest and learning styles. Once identified we will implement these assessments district wide in an effort to help our parents make the best placement decision at the most appropriate time for their child.

Can I change schools if my child’s needs changed?
Once a family has made a placement decision, changes will be made on a case by case basis following procedures outlined in BOE policy and administrative guidelines that will be developed and adopted before the spring of 2012.

How does this plan affect my child with special needs?
Students with special needs will have the same opportunities afforded to students without disabilities. However, this could change if it is determined by their IEP team that their needs require special services that may only be housed in one location in our district. Handling cases in this manner would not differ from our current procedures.

Cleveland Heights High School

What is the Freshman Experience?
The Freshman Experience (FE) is not a separate school! All 9th graders will still be a part of their selected small school. The FE program offers additional social and emotional support to ensure the successful transition from Middle School to High School. As a part of the program all Freshman Core classes except math will be taught in the same area of the school. All students will return to their small school area for math instruction.

All 9th grade teachers will use an interdisciplinary approach that is based on their school instructional model and research based practices for working with adolescent students.

Who will be my child’s counselor during the Freshman Experience?
The counselor and the principal of your child’s small school will work with your child to solve any problems. Mr. Reed will be the principal responsible for handling emergencies that arise and will be the administrator located in close proximity to the FE. His role will be more about instructional leadership and support than managing student issues.

College Credit
All students at Heights High school are currently able to earn college credit. They can do this by taking Tech Prep programs, enrolling in Post Secondary Options (course taught off-campus for high school and college credit) or an Advance Placement course. In the future we would like to expand these options to include Dual Credit (courses taught on campus for college and high school credit) and online coursework.

Music
All schools in the district will continue to provide the same quality and number of musical offerings. Parents and students who select to attend one of the schools in our Creativity strand will have a higher concentration of the Arts included in their other courses. Our Creativity schools will also serve as learning labs for new Art-focused initiatives.

Staffing
With the exception of hiring new teachers for new programs at the high school and language teachers for the middle schools we intend to staff this program with our current staff. Introducing our staff to these new models will require a significant amount of training, but no more than what would have been needed to prepare for the new common core standards. Doing it now will give our students and staff a head start in preparation for the new assessments.

Staffing Assignments
Now that each middle & elementary school has selected their model, teachers will be asked to list their preference in our areas of interest. Everyone is reminded that certification, qualification and need will drive all staffing issues.

Staff Training
We will do as much training as possible by using waiver days and time in the summer but it will still be necessary for teachers to miss some days of school. We will work with human resources to identify the best set of substitutes and make sure they are available during our strategic training sessions.

International Baccalaureate – IB
All of our Society Elementary and Middle School IB programs will be true IB schools once they complete the 3 year application process. We are not planning on offering IB at the high school. It is our intention to only offer the Primary Year Program and Middle Year Program and not the Diploma Program. More information can be found by visiting www.ibo.org.

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